Here's one bloom from the many on an African violet I have been nurturing the past four years. (Photo by Jim.) It's a beautiful reminder that life goes on, and I can realize the operation of a loving Spirit of the Universe in all things.
Four years ago in February, I got the news that I had breast cancer. That same day, I followed in my car behind a van that carried my mother from the hospital to the nursing home. Two surgeries for me and six weeks in the nursing home for my mother were not what we had planned. We all wanted her to have peace in her last days, to pass in her own bed, "surrounded by loving family," as the obits say.
But setting up the care was a task I wasn't up to. Mama had been a difficult person at times, but I found my peace with that and loved her unconditionally, finding a reservoir of compassion for her and all the things I couldn't begin to understand about her own life. We shared a lot of love in those "not ideal" times.
Then, three weeks after my second surgery, she died--April 7, 2014. My cousins gave me a beautiful basket of plants, and they have all lived! That African violet is one of them. I've never been able to grow even an ivy, but now I have a sun porch full of hardy, growing, beautiful greenery that came from that basket of baby plants. I didn't do anything special but take the advice of a dear friend, Nancy Allen Hemphill, and watered them with rainwater from barrels she'd given me.
I went on in the next few months to work on Mama's estate sale and the closing of her estate and putting the house on the market. Some was rushed because I wanted to get lots done before radiation fatigue set in. But it never did. During that time, I felt carried by the love of supportive family and friends. I felt their prayers as I was wheeled into an emergency surgery, as I cried beside my mother, already gone, as I sat beside her hospital bed where she died alone, and as I lay under that beam of radiation every day for thirty-two days.
So I salute my little flower and that room of plants and blooms. It is well with my soul!